Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Joshua 1:8 NIV
My confession – most days reading Scripture is hard for me. There I said it. For me, most days diving deep into God’s word is a challenge. I know it is important. I believe that what I am reading are the very words of God. I want to understand His word, to wrestle though the implications for my life and my walk with him. I want to have the desire, the hunger for more, but most days I don’t. This is something I struggle with and I know that I am not alone.
For me, some days picking up the text is the last thing I want to do. My mind wanders as I read and I don’t seem to be getting anything out of it. Some days I push on, some days I put it down in frustration and some days I don’t even pick it up. Then there are the days when I start reading and I just can’t put it down. Last week I had one of those days. I started reading and the next thing I knew it was 3 hours later. It was wonderful, but the joy was mixed with the frustration that every day isn’t like this.
Back in college I had an elderly bible professor who shared an illustration that has stuck with me all these years. He likened reading Scripture to his walking routine that his doctor had put him on. He said that when the alarm went off the last thing he wanted to do was get up and walk that day. But he did because he knew that he needed to in order to be healthy. That first mile was just dreadful, but as he continued he began to enjoy the walk. At the end of his workout he felt great and was really enjoying it. However, when the alarm went off the next morning the routine began again. He was not able to pick up where he left off, but had to have the discipline to take those first steps again even though he didn’t necessarily want to.
For me, this picture is an encouragement. I need to have the discipline to pick up His book and read it, even when I don’t want to, because I know that it is necessary for my spiritual health. One thing that has been helping me is having a plan – much like an exercise routine. There are many out there. LifeChurch.tv has one called YouVersion that is pretty popular right now. For a while I was reading through the Gospels every month. This year I am reading a copy of The One Year Bible. So pick a plan and stick to it.
If you struggle, find a work-out partner or two. Hold one another accountable and challenge each other to run the race that is before us well. After all, these are the very words of God and He wants to talk to you.